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Old 01-14-06, 12:01 PM   #1
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MultiVitamin's, good or bad?

Well i've heard plenty of things about Multivitamins and don't know what to believe. Some people tell me if you eat plenty of fruit and veg (which i do) then they are not neccasary. Some people have told me that taking them can actually be bad for you as you can potentially get wayyyy to much of certain vitamins. I've also heard that your body can only absorb 10-15% of them and you end up peeing the rest out, wouldn't this strain your kidney's to some extent? I've also heard of plenty of people who use them and swear they give them increased energy levels and a generally better state of health so i don't know what to believe!!!
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Old 01-14-06, 12:56 PM   #2
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My organic chemistry professor swears by a high vitamin c regimen. He says he takes 5 grams a day. That's way more than what the fda recommends. He's a tri-athelete in his 50's. It's kind of hard to ignore such advice from someone with a PhD in O.chem.
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Old 01-14-06, 02:03 PM   #3
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Taking a daily multivitamin will not hurt you as long as you read the label first and make sure that the values contained are not incredibly high. Multivitamins, in general, do not usually contain more than 100% of the RDA values. You usually have to start buying individual or specialty vitamins in order to get values much larger than this.

Taking large amounts of fat-soluble vitamins is what can be dangerous. These are A, D, E, and K. Your body will rid itself of any of the extra vitamins that you take that are not fat-soluble and as long as you do not have any pre-existing problems with your kidneys. People that do have kidney problems have to be very careful as to what vitamins they take.
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Old 01-14-06, 09:32 PM   #4
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Your organic prof is probably a Linus Pauling disciple. That much Vit C is not safe for everyone. As lillypad says people with certain kinds of renal problems can get into trouble with megadoses. Phds can be health faddists just like any one else.
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Old 01-14-06, 09:45 PM   #5
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A couple of grams of vit c is sufficient, particularly if you combine it with alpha-lipoic acid. You could also make use of time-release vit c capsules.The Life Extension Foundation maintains a huge database of scientific studies and abstracts regarding the efficacy of vitamins and other neutraceuticals. Check out http://search.lef.org/search/default...UERY=abstracts
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Old 01-14-06, 09:55 PM   #6
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Taking a multi-vitamin from a well known pharmaceutical firm is a smart thing to do. First, we've all heard of the studies that show vitamins can prevent a host of illnesses so maintaining adequate vitamin levels is important. Second, large, reputable firms invest in quality control so you know the product is manufactured correctly. Third, these firms have the $ to maintain their knowledge base so their products are based on the latest nutritional knowledge, and do not contain levels of supplements that are risky/harmful. I take a multi-vitamin from one of the largest manufacturers, and I always will.
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Old 01-14-06, 11:09 PM   #7
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There is a good article about aging and multivitamins in this weeks' (american ed.) Newsweek- pretty good stuff about new views on supplements.

A senior UC Berkely health 'dude', Bruce Ames, recommends acetyl carnitine, lipoic acid and a multivitamin.

like the others suggest above, multis just make good sense, but mega doses of some are not healthy, its a good general idea to stay away from bottled 'megavitamins' - take a look at the RDA %s in the chart on the bottle, sometimes you can avoid duplicate or dangerous amounts if you decide to take a few pills instead of just a multi.

I take a mens' multivitamin (no iron + some other stuff for guys) a b-complex with moderate %'s of several Bs, and try to remember to drink an "Emergen-C" vitamin C fizz once a day.

I really should add Ginko for increased oxygenation of the spinal cord and brain, saw palmetto for prostate maintence, and fish oil to increase the fish stuff -brain freeze what's in fish oil again? Alpha omegas? Omega 3 fatty acids, i think...

C is recommended twice a day, not in megadoses necessarily, but spaced thru the day because your body doesn't store it up. Big glass of OJ in the morning, then a supplement later on or more fruit.

There's a bunch of other stuff, and I'm not an expert on any of it, but read that your body more readily absorbs nutritional calcium if you consume magnesium as well. So for post menopausal women or people healing broken bones, adding magnesium along with inceased calcium helps.

And potassium helps with muscle reload of something good, but don't know what.

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Old 01-15-06, 10:53 AM   #8
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Check out over-the-counter potassium supplements. They contain very small amounts of potassium. To get anything with any considerable amount, you must get it with a prescription from your doctor because you have low levels of potassium in your blood. Your doctor has to order blood tests to check your levels of potassium to make sure that they do not get too high. High levels of potassium intake (in pill form) can kill you.
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Old 01-15-06, 11:20 AM   #9
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One other thought. I think it is a good idea to tell your doctor what nutritional supplements you're taking, even if they don't ask. If you're not routinely seeing a doctor, tell your pharmacist. I like a trained professional to advise me of risks associated with larger than normal doses of nutritional supplements.
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Old 01-15-06, 12:41 PM   #10
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First, begin by taking a look at your regular diet. Eat normally for a week and write down everything. Make sure you eat as you normally would, and avoid "making the list look good".
Then, find a good list where vitamin and trace minerals are listed for each food item on your list. Calculate your intake of the various vitamins and minerals over a week. Don't be concerned if you don't get a certain vitamin every single day, as long as you get it fairly regularly.

Once you've done this, you're in a perfect position to start looking for supplements. Perhaps you'll find that you only need B12 and zinc, for example. Taking daily multivitamin pills would clearly be a waste of time and money then, and could potentially be unhealthy in the long term.
Even better would be to see if you could eliminate your dietary deficiencies by simply adding another food item to your diet.

It's been quite clearly shown in numerous major studies recently that vitamin C is far from the miracle substance it's often made out to be. It has no demonstrable effect on colds or any similar infections, for example.
Not if you don't have a vitamin C deficiency, at least, and that's virtually impossible if you eat normal food.

Its role as an antioxidant is also questionable, as it causes a massive amount of oxidation in the body when taken with iron, and often, iron is what it's taken with. Even if it isn't, the iron in the body does a good job of providing the vitamin C with "fuel".

Supplements should really only be used to correct deficiencies that are difficult to correct with a change in diet. B12 supplements for vegans is one example. Top athletes might also need higher levels of certain vitamins to such an extent that regular food simply isn't enough to compensate.
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Old 01-15-06, 03:42 PM   #11
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Another big fad that is out there now, especially during the winter season, is to take large quantities of Vitamin C. There are now timed-release vitamin C tabs that release the vitamin slowly so as to not go through your body and out through the urine as soon as you take it (it is one of the water-soluble vitamins). If you do jump on the bandwagon and try this, don't go from 100% RDA to 5000% RDA in one day or you will get open sores in your mouth that can take weeks to heal.
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Old 01-15-06, 07:04 PM   #12
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Multivitamins = good. Multivitamin/mineral = better. Organic food grown in excellent soil = best.
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Old 01-15-06, 08:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
There is a good article about aging and multivitamins in this weeks' (american ed.) Newsweek- pretty good stuff about new views on supplements.

A senior UC Berkely health 'dude', Bruce Ames, recommends acetyl carnitine, lipoic acid and a multivitamin.

like the others suggest above, multis just make good sense, but mega doses of some are not healthy, its a good general idea to stay away from bottled 'megavitamins' - take a look at the RDA %s in the chart on the bottle, sometimes you can avoid duplicate or dangerous amounts if you decide to take a few pills instead of just a multi.

I take a mens' multivitamin (no iron + some other stuff for guys) a b-complex with moderate %'s of several Bs, and try to remember to drink an "Emergen-C" vitamin C fizz once a day.

I really should add Ginko for increased oxygenation of the spinal cord and brain, saw palmetto for prostate maintence, and fish oil to increase the fish stuff -brain freeze what's in fish oil again? Alpha omegas? Omega 3 fatty acids, i think...

C is recommended twice a day, not in megadoses necessarily, but spaced thru the day because your body doesn't store it up. Big glass of OJ in the morning, then a supplement later on or more fruit.

There's a bunch of other stuff, and I'm not an expert on any of it, but read that your body more readily absorbs nutritional calcium if you consume magnesium as well. So for post menopausal women or people healing broken bones, adding magnesium along with inceased calcium helps.

And potassium helps with muscle reload of something good, but don't know what.
I'm pretty much following the same daily regimen as Bekologist now - a Multi, some B vit, and an Emergen-C with Glucosamine blend in it. I also have added in the past year (since I turned 50) fish oil 2x/day and a Saw Palmetto blend for the prostate, and at night a a calcium/magnesium blend.

Finally, I also have been reading a lot about the benefits of Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid for middle-aged athletic-types and am going to add those, then I'm done. For Potassium I eat a banana!

I think a lot of it is age-dependent. You can get away with just a multi and some C up until about age 40, then I think it is important to start assessing and thinking about gender-specific supplements to keep everything running smoothly for a long time, especially cell regeneration and anti-oxidants.
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Old 01-15-06, 10:12 PM   #14
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Organic chem professor is feeling good because he works out regularly and probably watches what he eats anyways.
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Old 01-16-06, 12:19 AM   #15
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Every 2-3 days I take liquid b12. For every time you have it (two tablespoons a day) it gives you 83,000% DV of it lol.
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Old 01-17-06, 08:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillypad
Check out over-the-counter potassium supplements. They contain very small amounts of potassium. To get anything with any considerable amount, you must get it with a prescription from your doctor because you have low levels of potassium in your blood. Your doctor has to order blood tests to check your levels of potassium to make sure that they do not get too high. High levels of potassium intake (in pill form) can kill you.
that's interesting, i've never heard this before about potassium, and i've done some research on it. when i've asked around as to why the pills were so small, most replied that a potassium pill with the rda would be much larger than a horsepill is currently, so they just don't sell them like that. this is definitely worth looking into...
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Old 01-18-06, 09:59 AM   #17
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Large amounts of potassium intake (in pill form) can cause your heart to suddenly stop. That is why it must be monitored by a physician. The regular prescription potassium supplements (such as Slow-K) were pretty big. They do have smaller ones now (such as Tiny K-Tabs) that are smaller and easier to swallow. These, however, are still only available with a prescription.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:24 AM   #18
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A Banana has more than 600mg of potassium. It is a great food source; a mulitvitamin in comparison has only 100mg or so.

If you really want to add extra K you can switch from salt to Half Salt (for cooking) which is a mix of NaCl and KCl... tastes about the same.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:01 AM   #19
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A couple of times a year, I eat only unprocessed/unprepared food for a week. During this week, I have a multi-vitamin in the morning.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:27 AM   #20
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http://www.shands.org/health/informa...cle/001179.htm

on potassium intake. crazy stuff.
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Old 01-18-06, 11:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillypad
Large amounts of potassium intake (in pill form) can cause your heart to suddenly stop. That is why it must be monitored by a physician. The regular prescription potassium supplements (such as Slow-K) were pretty big. They do have smaller ones now (such as Tiny K-Tabs) that are smaller and easier to swallow. These, however, are still only available with a prescription.
One of the compounds Kevorkian used in his assisted suicide machine was Potassium Chloride.

If you are eating a decent diet, you are already getting what you need, or most of it. A daily vitamin like Centrum can't hurt.

I would stay away from these supplements of selenium, chromium, etc. These are toxic metals except in very, very tiny amounts.

There are only about 3 vitamin manufacturers in the world. They supply the companies that distribute them or formulate them into multivitamins.


There is no difference between synthetic and natural vitamins. The natural vitamin may be formulated with some other compounds that may or may not be beneficial but the vitamins themselves are no different.


If you want your antioxidants, drink orange juice, tomato juice, cranberry juice, grape juice, raspberry juice or pomegranate juice. Or red wine. Make sure they don't have the evil high fructose corn syrup added.

Vitamin C and E are often added to foods for their preservative powers. The anti-oxidants in cranberries and raspberries are benzoic acid and sorbic acid, respectively. You see them all the time as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. But then, they are the evil preservatives that must be stamped out. There's actually more benzoic acid in cranberries than the FDA allows to be used as a preservative.

Since vitamin E is an oil it's used to preserve oils and oil-containing foods. The marketing guys hype it as being in there just for you.

Sugar is a great preservative and it's why many snack cakes don't require preservatives. Like Twinkies.

Likewise, your carotenoids, lycopenes, vitamin A, etc. have anti-oxidant powers as they themselves are easily oxidized. But if you eat too much of them you'll get carotenosis, or orange-colored skin. Ewwww. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, carrots.

Dark green leafy vegetables, the kind most people don't like, are high in the B vitamins and folic acid. Eat red and green leaf lettuce, kale, collards, cabbage, turnip greens, spinach and stay away from the tasteless iceberg lettuce.


Some famous dude once said "moderation in all things." Pretty good advice.


Warning: I am an organic chemist with a master's degree. I did Suzuki coupling reactions with boronate substituted isoxazoles, real exciting stuff.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:27 PM   #22
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One of the compounds Kevorkian used in his assisted suicide machine was Potassium Chloride.

This is why a physician must monitor any intake of potassium in pill form. The big difference between potassium in pill form and potassium in food is that the pill form is a timed-release form. More of it is absorbed into the body rather than passing out through the urine as it will with foods. This is why you cannot commit suicide by eating a bunch of bananas.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:30 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillypad
One of the compounds Kevorkian used in his assisted suicide machine was Potassium Chloride.

This is why a physician must monitor any intake of potassium in pill form. The big difference between potassium in pill form and potassium in food is that the pill form is a timed-release form. More of it is absorbed into the body rather than passing out through the urine as it will with foods. This is why you cannot commit suicide by eating a bunch of bananas.

whew, cause i love maduros and tostones (plantains)....
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Old 04-25-06, 07:20 PM   #24
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Anyone ever heard of Animal Pak? It's a multivitamin pack that is made for bodybuilders and strength training. I am just starting to take it while cycling/lifting along with Colostrum. I'll let you guys know of any benefits/downsides.
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Old 04-25-06, 07:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbattle
One of the compounds Kevorkian used in his assisted suicide machine was Potassium Chloride.

If you are eating a decent diet, you are already getting what you need, or most of it. A daily vitamin like Centrum can't hurt.

I would stay away from these supplements of selenium, chromium, etc. These are toxic metals except in very, very tiny amounts.

There are only about 3 vitamin manufacturers in the world. They supply the companies that distribute them or formulate them into multivitamins.


There is no difference between synthetic and natural vitamins. The natural vitamin may be formulated with some other compounds that may or may not be beneficial but the vitamins themselves are no different.


If you want your antioxidants, drink orange juice, tomato juice, cranberry juice, grape juice, raspberry juice or pomegranate juice. Or red wine. Make sure they don't have the evil high fructose corn syrup added.

Vitamin C and E are often added to foods for their preservative powers. The anti-oxidants in cranberries and raspberries are benzoic acid and sorbic acid, respectively. You see them all the time as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate. But then, they are the evil preservatives that must be stamped out. There's actually more benzoic acid in cranberries than the FDA allows to be used as a preservative.

Since vitamin E is an oil it's used to preserve oils and oil-containing foods. The marketing guys hype it as being in there just for you.

Sugar is a great preservative and it's why many snack cakes don't require preservatives. Like Twinkies.

Likewise, your carotenoids, lycopenes, vitamin A, etc. have anti-oxidant powers as they themselves are easily oxidized. But if you eat too much of them you'll get carotenosis, or orange-colored skin. Ewwww. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, carrots.

Dark green leafy vegetables, the kind most people don't like, are high in the B vitamins and folic acid. Eat red and green leaf lettuce, kale, collards, cabbage, turnip greens, spinach and stay away from the tasteless iceberg lettuce.


Some famous dude once said "moderation in all things." Pretty good advice.


Warning: I am an organic chemist with a master's degree. I did Suzuki coupling reactions with boronate substituted isoxazoles, real exciting stuff.
Those same dark leafy veges also provide you with quite sufficient Magnesium for the body as well! BEWARE megadosing, unless you have a specific vitamin absorption problem. Then you'll be under the care and supervision of a physician anyway. Excess B and C, IF you have normal kidneys will pass through the kidneys anyway. Excess Iron is toxic, and I wholeheartedly agree with the person who said to stay away from Chromium and the other body building supplements. Chromium, Gadolinium, and the other rare earth minerals your body needs are handily supplied with the food you ingest.
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